The result was better than expected, but both races obviously had been little signed by the odd conditions of the snow.
Pinturault first win on home soil.Because of the snowfall and the delay of the start to early afternoon, together with the difficulty of the slope made the slalom very thrilling as the result of each run was uncertain and very spectacular.
Despite the big bumps created by the passage of the athlets on the soft snow quite a few guys could qualify for the second run even with high numbers: Austrian Feller was even 16th with number 50.
In the second run American Chodounsky took advantage of being the first on track and kept gaining places for a long with Slovak suprise Adam Zampa following close (the two would eventually finish 15th and 16th).
Moelgg and Ligety did quite a nice job in the second run as well, but it was the Swedish duo of Myhrer and Byggmark that impressed the most as the two by risking a lot in their attacking run could first stop Hoerl raise and then start their own. Jens, who had done half a miracle in the first run already by skiing the whole run without a pole lost on start, had fire burining in his eyes, but a couple of mistakes cost him the lead over the team-mate. The two finished right at the feet of the podium 4th and 5th.
The one who stopped them was the eventual winner of the race, Alexis Pinturault, who skied out of his mind, as if there were no signs or bumps on the course. He scored the best time of the run and hardly anyone could get any close: one by one every racer start to fall behind him in the final standing with Neureuther being the only one able to stay relatively close to him, half a second away and eventually 2nd.
Manfred Pranger, who was second after the first half, completely lost the plot in the second section of the race and finished 6th, while Hirscher's big mistakes cost his leadership and for a little he hasn't lost the podium at all, but he could still finish 3rd.
Hirscher wins the first race for Austrian teamOf course Austria can't always win, but when it's middle December and the only win for the Wunderteam arrived from ladies the pressure on the guys start to be big. None could expect that Ligety would suddenly drop his terrific form and lose the first GS of the season, but the weird snow conditions, the shortened GS and the very tight gates surely mixed the cards on the table.
The first run had already been very unpredictable with the protagonists of last night's slalom again on top as Hirscher was leading after the first run with a very small gap over Pinturault and Neureuther was 5th. Of course the short distance between the gates would have advataged the young slalomists, but still a few veterans could find their way to stay close as Benjamin Raich was 4th, Ligety 6th and Blardone 8th.
Nani gained a lot of positions too, finishing for the first time in the top 10, 10th actually.
The fight for the first places started with a brave run by Svindal who used his great power to tame the bumps of the course, but it wasn't enough to better Luitz's time but enough to go from 11th to 6th.
Italian Max Blardone, who hadn't finish out of the podium here for a three seasons, tried his best to make his streak longer, but he had to surrender to the German too, but the podium didn't finish that far as he was 5th at the end.
Ligety of course was rather daunted after his first disappointing run and wanted to make up in the second run, he tried everything and he was the first one to gain some advantage to Luitz in the first part, but then a couple of bad mistakes set him beck and prevented him from stopping Luitz's raise. Ted eventually was 3rd, which of course feels rather tight for his standards, so we'll see for sure him angry for victory in Badia next week.
When Pinturault started the crowd went crazy and his brave attitude wouldn't but grow the hopes the French public had for a back to back win from him. It seemed already done, only a few gates were missing before he could cross the finish line with a reassuring advantage, but he let his focus decrease and his boot touched the snow making him fall.
Hirscher knew his worst opponent had fallen and his advantage was big enough to be administrated and so he did, he didn't take many risks and so he could finally secure his first win of the season and end the seasonal drought for the Austrian team.